If cystic fibrosis prevents you from sustaining meaningful gainful employment, you could be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The respiratory and intestinal problems cystic fibrosis causes can make it difficult or impossible to work. If this has happened to you, our legal team can help make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers cystic fibrosis a disabling medical condition—as long as applicants meet specific qualification criteria.
That said, the process of applying for and receiving disability for cystic fibrosis is rarely straightforward. Many qualified applicants receive a denial letter in the mail despite having a condition that meets the SSA’s criteria.
Unfortunately, the decision-makers at the SSA have a reputation for caprice to the point of being arbitrary. A trivial mistake in your application, a small omission from your medical documentation, or any number of minor errors could mean the difference in an approval and a denial.
That is why it is important to work with a skilled and accomplished legal team when applying for disability benefits. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we have a strong tracking record of helping clients win disability, including those diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Call us at 866-628-8179 today for a free consultation. We want to invite you into our family and make you our next satisfied client. We look forward to meeting you.
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease in which mucus builds up in the lungs, intestines, and pancreas. Over time, this accumulation of mucus leads to bacteria buildup, infections, breathing troubles, and eventually, total respiratory failure.
People infected with cystic fibrosis suffer numerous symptoms, some of which are intermittent, and some of which are chronic and persistent. These include coughing—often with phlegm—lung infections, wheezing, shortness of breath, and stunted growth.
The physical ailments cystic fibrosis causes can make it impossible to sustain gainful employment and earn a living on your own. That is why the SSA includes the condition on its list of disabilities that qualify for benefits. We can help you build your application and give it the best chance of approval.
How Do I Qualify for Disability Benefits With Cystic Fibrosis?
We can evaluate your situation and come up with a plan to build a winning case to the SSA. In some cases, that means demonstrating that your condition meets a Blue Book listing—this refers to the SSA’s list of conditions that qualify for disability.
If your cystic fibrosis does not meet the Blue Book’s criteria, we can show that it is functionally equivalent to a listing. By working with us, you can be confident that if there is a way for you to win disability benefits, you will.
Blue Book Listing
The Blue Book entry for cystic fibrosis appears under listing 3.04. It stipulates that to qualify for benefits, you must meet at least one of the following six conditions:
- Your forced expiratory volume (FEV1), as measured in a diagnostic test, must be lower than a certain level based on your age and height;
- You have experienced complications resulting in hospital stays at least three times in a 12-month period—and those occurrences must have occurred at least 30 days apart;
- You have experienced spontaneous pneumothorax requiring chest tube placement;
- You have had respiratory failure requiring ventilation for a continuous 48-hour period or noncontinuous 72-hour period, or have suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage requiring vascular embolization;
- Your blood oxygen saturation is below a certain level; or
- You have suffered a pulmonary exacerbation, pulmonary hemorrhage, weight loss requiring supplemental enteral nutrition, or cystic fibrosis related diabetes twice within a 12-month period.
If you meet any of the above criteria, we can work with your doctors to gather the evidence we need to show the SSA that you qualify based on the cystic fibrosis Blue Book listing. If you do not meet these criteria, you may still qualify for benefits. If we can assemble evidence that shows your condition limits your ability to function, you can still draw benefits from the SSA.
How Can I Qualify for Benefits If I Do Not Meet the Blue Book Criteria?
We can help you qualify with a residual functional capacity (RFC) test. The RFC test is an objective analysis of the functional limitations your condition presents. Your doctor completes this exam. Your RFC demonstrates to the SSA that your cystic fibrosis, while not meeting their strict Blue Book criteria, impacts your ability to work and carry out activities of daily living to such an extent that you cannot earn a living.
Our legal team will assemble your medical evidence, including the RFC test, and make sure that it is thorough and compelling. With our help, you can maximize your chances of getting an approval.
Are There Other Requirements I Must Meet to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
The final hurdle is ensuring that you meet the income or work history requirements for the disability program for which you are applying. Depending on your work history and financial situation, you are eligible for one of two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
If you have consistently worked and, as a result, paid into Social Security via payroll taxes, you likely qualify for SSDI. We must also show the SSA proof that your disability prevents you from earning enough income to make a living.
If you do not have a sufficient work history, we can pursue SSI instead. SSI is a needs-based program for those with low incomes and minimal assets. We can examine your financial records to determine if you qualify for this program.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 866-628-8179 to Set up a Free Consultation With Our Accomplished Legal Team.
Are you ready to get started? Our team is here to help you get disability for your cystic fibrosis. Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 866-628-8179 today.